No. 13 Stanford Falls to Alberta 3-1 in Elephant Bar Championship

1/5/2008

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Santa Barbara, Calif. - No. 13 Stanford Men's Volleyball performed admirably in the UCSB/Elephant Bar Championship on Saturday night, but fell to the Canadian powerhouse 3-1 (26-30, 23-30, 30-21, 25-30) to earn a second place finish in season-opening tournament. The Cardinal (2-0) ended Alberta's 24-game winning streak against MSPF competition at the Dino Cup in Canada last October, but were unable to defeat the school for a second time in a row.

The Cardinal was once again led by senior Matt Ceran, who recorded 22 kills and finished the weekend with 60 kills in the three games this weekend. Ceran was also able to hit a.486 in the match. Sophomore Evan Romero finished with 16 kills and sophomore Kawika Shoji recorded 51 assists in the defeat. Junior libero Jarod Keller led the team with 15 digs and freshman Spencer McLachlin ended the match with a team-high three service aces. Freshman Charley Henrikson also made his college debut and recorded five kills on a .500 hitting percentage.

In game one, the Cardinal fell behind early and trailed the Golden Bears 19-14 midway through the game. Stanford, as they have done all tournament rallied to get within one point at 25-24, but couldn't hand on as Alberta scored the final three points of the game to win it 30-26.

The second game started out much better for the Cardinal as they built a 12-7 lead behind strong play by McLachlin and Shoji. The Golden Bears showed their championship form though and roared back to tie the match at 18 and eventually power to the 30-23 final score. Tim Gourlay led Alberta with a flurry of kills and pushed the Cardinal in a tough 0-2 hole.

The Cardinal regrouped in the third game and dominated the set by hitting .393 as a team. They also forced the Golden Bears into a .074 hitting percentage, which translated to a 30-21 win in the game. Ceran led the way in the set with six kills and Shoji also chipped in with three kills in the game.

The Golden Bears proved to be too strong in the fourth set and even though the Cardinal tied the match at 19 all, Alberta sophomore Ben Saxton recorded four kills in their 30-25 game victory. McLachlin led the Cardinal in the game with four kills.

Shoji and Ceran were named to the UCSB/Elephant Bar All-Tournament team for their efforts.

The Cardinal record remains at 2-0 due to the Golden Bears being Canadian competition.

The Cardinal return to the court when they travel to Los Angeles and take on the UCLA Bruins on Friday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.

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